Refigerator Water Line Jumps When Kitchen Faucet Is Opened or closed

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Mettius, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. Mettius

    Mettius New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Hello,

    I've been chasing down what I thought was water hammer but with no luck.

    Symptom:
    When I quickly turn on or off the cold water on either of my kitchen faucets (there are two, back to back in an island) I here what sounds like a light banging sound from the fridge. It sounds a bit like when I use the water dispenser (just not as loud). This also happens (but not as loud) when I use the water dispenser on the fridge

    The Plot So Far:
    Pulling out the fridge, I can observe the grey plastic water line "jump" when the cold water on any of the kitchen sinks or the water dispenser of the fridge are turned on of off quickly. (In the case of the kitchen faucets, it can be avoided by opening/closing the handle slowly). It seems that some of the noise is inside the fridge and the rest is the hose banging on the floor/wall/fridge.

    [​IMG]
    The one on the left is for a washer.
    The one in the center can be soldered onto a tee.
    The one on the right can be used inline like for a lav supply or an icemaker line.

    I've already installed a pair of Sioux Chief 660-TR1 (The 3/8 to 3/8 one pictured at bottom of above picture) http://www.siouxchief.com/B_Product_Detail.cfm?GroupID=350250 on the hot and cold lines of one of the sinks. It had absolutely no effect that I could see or hear. (Granted I didn't expect the hot water line to be related, but I did it anyway as I was already under the sink). I still hear the same sound with the cold water on either of the two kitchen sinks (the one with the arrester and the one without).

    I also tested with the dishwaser which didn't produce the symptom (which makes sense, it's on the hot water line), and the cold water on the washing machine (which does cause the symptom, but quieter).
    The washing machine is further away than the kitchen sinks are to the fridge. I wasn't able to get the symptom to appear from any other faucet in the house. I didn't have this problem before, but the kitchen was remodeled and these faucets are new Hansgrohe units (much much nicer than the cheapo builder model they replaced).

    Is it Water Hammer?
    Anyway, based on my forum reading so far, if it was water hammer it shouldn't happen when a valve is opened right? Just when closed.

    If it is water hammer, the water hammer arresters are to be installed as near to the valve which closes quickly as possible. I did this, and it had no effect.

    The fridge and the faucets are all new at the same time (complete kitchen remodel, though no pipes were moved. It is a PEX system in the slab. (Austin, TX) House build in 2005.

    Help! :confused:
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2009
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,754
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    That does seem odd.
    The icemaker has a hammer arrestor too?

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  3. Mettius

    Mettius New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Hello,

    Sorry if I wasn't clear, the hammer arrestor is installed at one of the kitchen sinks only. Nothing at the fridge.

    Photos Attached:
    1- 1st Kitchen Sink plumbing, no hammer arresters
    2 - 1st Sink from above
    3 - 2nd Kitchen Sink plumbing, no hammer arresters
    4 - 2nd Sink from above
    5- Fridge water feed.

    Attached Files:

  4. sixlashes

    sixlashes Plumber in Previous Life

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Pensacola. FL
    Two comments. One, what is your water pressure to the house? If you have excessively high water pressure, this is where I would attack it. Anything over 60-65 psi would be a candidate for a pressure regulator for the whole house.

    Second, I know mechanically it may not make sense, but... I have never seen water hammer arrestors installed upside down. I realize they utilize a piston, but I just have never seen them installed upside down. They web site you linked to shows all of their products pointing up (except one - horizontal).
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,754
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Sixlashes mentioned high water pressure, you may want to check that.

    The arrestors can be pointed any direction. They are designed to prevent water logging.

    I would consider puting one at he icemaker connection if that hose is jumping.
  6. Mettius

    Mettius New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    65psi when I checked at both outside hosebibs as well as one on the "inside" of the water softener.
  7. sixlashes

    sixlashes Plumber in Previous Life

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Pensacola. FL
    I would try Terry's suggestion first. I would take the arrestor you have installed on the hot water angle stop for the sink(s) and install it on the icemaker line. Since the icemaker angle stop is recessed into the box, it will not directly hook up. You will have cut the tubing after it comes out of the box, install a compression coupling (with insert) and hook the arrestor to the other side of the coupling. Hopefully this takes care of it.

    I am unable to determine for you if this is a nuisance or a problem. Since you said you do not experience it anywhere else in the house, it seems like a nuisance rather than a problem. But you said you hear noise from inside the fridge; this seems more in the problem category. If this continues and shakes something loose in the fridge, you may have water damage to add to the broken fridge.

    Are you sure the noise is not caused by the movement of the tubing? Have you captured the tubing so you can isolate the noise? If you are sure it is coming from inside the fridge and the arrestor does not take care of it, I would consider reducing your water pressure.

    65 psi is on the high side, but not excessively. You can test to see if reducing your water pressure will eliminate your problem. You will go through a buck's worth of water, but it will work.

    First, open an outside hose bib wide open with a short hose attached to direct the water away from the house, ideally between the kitchen and the water supply. Then have someone turn your main water shutoff (last resort at the meter) partway closed (while a hose bib is fully open) until your pressure gage on another hose bib (or possible your inside gage) reads 50-55 psi. Then try your sink to see if the noise persists. If the reduction in your water pressure (induced by throttling it and reducing it with an open hose bib) eliminiates the noise, install a pressure-reducing valve.

    If you get to this stage, only you can decide if it is worth the expense. If there is definitely banging in the fridge, and reducing the pressure fixes it, I would do it.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2009
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